This post was written before I added the Addi Click set that I wrote about yesterday!
As a knitter and a compulsive buyer of “things”, I’ve written a couple of review of knitting needles. One is here and a post more related to interchangeable needles is here. Since writing the last review, I’ve added a couple more sets of interchangeables and thought I would update the review. I’m going to include some of the info I had already written, just so this will be a complete review.
Top row, left to right: Denise, ChiaoGoo, HiyaHiya large.
Bottom row, left to right: KnitPicks, HiyaHiya small.
The first set I will review is the Knit Picks set, which was the first set I purchased.
While I don’t dislike them, I don’t love them. It seems like with each size, one of the needles isn’t a perfect join and if I’m knitting tightly, which I have a tendency to do, the yarn snags and hangs up at the join. A couple of the tips aren’t real smooth on the end and that sometimes causes a snag. I find that I’m using those only when I don’t have the right size fixed circular needle.
These aren’t a bad set and I could use them and be happy with them. I have heard quite a few complaints from other users about the cables breaking or coming loose where the cable connects to the connecting mechanism. I have not experienced this problem. Also, I’m guessing that there are many more knitters using the Knit Picks needles, simply because of the cost. The more users there are, it stand to reason that the more complaints you would see. The set includes 9 needle sizes and the cost today is $59.99.
Two other things that bother me about the Knit Picks sets are: (1) The needle tops are not labeled as to their size and every time I want to use them, I have to get out a needle gauge and check to be sure I’m using the correct size needle and (2) They come in a pretty worthless case. There is a little plastic case but the slots for the needles are not numbered or anything so again, I’m left to figure out what size goes where. I have tried taping numbers inside the plastic but they haven’t stayed on so well.
The second set of interchangeable needles that I purchased was the ChiaoGoo interchangeable set – the Twist Red Lace Complete Set. At the time of writing this post, they are out of stock but if you click on the link above, you’ll see what all is included in the set. There are 7 needle tips, three different length cables and various accessories for about $90 (that’s what they were when I bought mine). The case is wonderful.
It comes with a really nice zipper case. Inside are all the needles and cables.
The red things are the cables to which the various needle tips attach.
Inside the little outside zipper pouch are the following:
- Stitch markers
- End caps – these are for use when I’m knitting something . . say I’m using my size 4 mm tips on my 24″ cables and for some reason I stop that project and then my next project needs 4 mm tips on 32″ cables. I can unscrew the tips from the 24″ cables and then screw the end caps onto the ends of my cables and that keeps the stitches from all slipping off. Then I can screw the 4 mm tips onto the 32″ cables and begin a new project.
- T-pins for tightening the connections.
- Needle gauge – even though the the tips have a size stamped on each needle, it’s nice to have a gauge to check the size, if I need it. (Like sometimes when my eyes are too tired to read the small print).
Since this set, similar to the Knit Picks, tightens with a pin, there’s a tiny hole at the end of the needle tip and a thread can be inserted through the hole and used as a lifeline. I like this set a lot but I do have issues with the tips not staying tight on the cables. No matter how much tightening I do, I still have to check, and often re-screw the tips to the cables at the end of each row, if not sooner. That’s bothersome and scary . . because if I forget and they come undone, all my stitches are going to fall off.
The tips are nice and sharp, the way I like them. The tips are smooth and the connections are smooth.
The third and fourth sets I acquired are the Hiya Hiya.
These come in a small set and a large set. The small set contains 7 tips, sizes 2 – 8 (US), along with four different cable lengths. This set was about $80 when I bought it.
The large set contains 6 tips, sizes 9 – 15 (US), along with four different length cables. The large set was about $80 when I bought them.
The tips also have the sizes stamped on them. The joins are perfect and I have had fewer issues with these becoming loose. The points are sharp and smooth. These are my favorites! I love these needles. I have absolutely no complaints with these needles and for anyone wanting a set of interchangeable and who likes lace tips, this is the set I would have recommended before I used the Addi set!
As far as I know, there’s no easy way to include a life line with the HiyaHiya set.
The last set of interchangeables that I bought were the Denise set.
They have a very good rating at Amazon. The joins are smooth and kind of unique. The cables are flexible but the needles are kind of plasticy and grabby and the points are so darned blunt! I’m used to using lace tips and the tips on the Denise needles aggravate the heck out of me. These will never be my favorites; they’ll probably always be my least favorites and I’m not saying they’re bad needles, I’m just saying I love the HiyaHiyas, I like the ChiaoGoos a little less than the HiyaHiyas, and I like the Knit Picks a little less than the ChiaoGoos and I like the Denise a little less than the Knit Picks.
The Denise set includes 10 different sizes of needles and 6 lengths of cables.
The Denise set is about $55 at Amazon and for that price, I think they’re a good buy .. if the price is keeping you from buying the HiyaHiya set.
I’m not sure how much you can glean from the photo but I was hoping to give you an idea of the sharpness or bluntness of the tips.
Left to right: Denise, ChiaoGoo, Knitpicks, HiyaHiya.
The sets seem expensive but you figure the cost of an individual set of needles and the various lengths that you might want to have in your arsenal, the sets are quite inexpensive. Also, it’s so nice to know that no matter what project I want to knit, I have the right size needle. One fixed cicular HiyaHiya needle is about $9 and when you figure that it’s possible you would need three different lengths for that one size needle, that’s $27, and then with 6 or 7 needles being included in a set, that’s anywhere from about $167 to $177.
One last thing . . when The Loopy Ewe has the ChiaoGoo or the HiyaHiya sets in stock, if you want them, you’d better be quick. They hardly ever stay there long.
Teri Jordan says
Loved your review of the interchangeable knitting needles…..I was going to put on my wish list the ChiaoGoo, but hearing about them coming loose…..I’m not so sure anymore……I have never seen the HiyaHiya….I have never seen the Addi interchangeable set, but have knitted with Addi turbo….and I do like them…..I actually have the Denise set and I agree too blunt of points, but I do love having all the needles handy and don’t have to worry if I have the right needle…..knowing what you know now that you have tried them……which one would you go out and buy…..also what do you think about the HiyaHiya case……sorry that was so long winded…..LOL
Amy (Waunaknit) says
For anyone interested in a set from The Loopy Ewe: If they are out of stock, you can email them and they will send you an invoice when they receive it instead of having to cross your fingers when they go up on their website.
Bev Austin says
Thank you so much for all this information! This is information I have been wanting for some time now. As you say, by the time you go through several different types of needles, you’ve already put a big sum of money into things that won’t be getting used. I get so frustrated with the needles that don’t tighten correctly and cause the yarn to catch while knitting.
I too LOVE my Hiya Hiyas. I was lucky in that they were the first set I bought and I have been so happy with them. The other day I was searching Amazon for cables since the loopy ewe was out I discovered some Hiya Hiya Knit Saver cables that have a hole for a life line. Cool! Now they have everything. I would of included a link but I couldn’t figure out how. http://www.amazon.com/Hiya-Knit-Saver-Cable-small/dp/B00G96GVI4/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1392952285&sr=8-14&keywords=hiya+hiya+interchangeable+needles